2016, July 7. Five men rape an 18-year-old girl in a hovel of three square meters in a portal of Pamplona. That same year, October 29. Six men allegedly rape a 14-year-old girl in an abandoned ship on a road in Manresa, Barcelona, and a seventh is watching, masturbating. No condoms. Neither awareness of the crime. No regret.
With La Manada, in those sanfermines of three years ago, the multiple rape was nicknamed. Beyond the minimum of aggressors who must participate to be considered as such (two or more), there are several common elements that underlie this crime whose visibility has grown in recent years and for which there is no official data, although the Sexual Geoviolence portal counts 125 since 2016, 34 so far in 2019. There is no consensus among the experts on whether this increase equals more cases or more is reported. What they do agree on is that there is no defined profile for these sexual aggressors, although they observe a constant: they are young.
Around the facts, yes there are certain patterns that are repeated: the context in which they occur, the response of the aggressors, the blaming of the victim or the banalization of the crime they are committing. This is the anatomy of two violations that could be, as the specialists point out, that of so many others. As the last known, the dawn of last Thursday July 4 in the leisure area of Cala Rajada, in the Mallorcan municipality of Capdepera.
Reminds Nina Parrón, feminist activist and insular director of Equality of the Council of Mallorca: four German men between 19 and 23 years allegedly raped a compatriot of 18 and those arrested by the police that same day when they were about to catch a plane at the Palma airport back to Germany. Create the expert that this responds to "some behaviors learned through the pornographic story in which they show an infinity of non-consensual and violent sexual relations. "That, he points out, is one of the common basic issues:"A sex culture based on an increasingly violent porn, with less communication, more focused on group practices and visualized from a younger age ".
In addition, he notes, "in general, those who commit the violations are usually young." The five from Pamplona were between 24 and 27 at the time; in Manresa, between 19 and 26, and one of them 39. Perhaps that "youth", Parrón alleges, is part of that other common element, "the trivialization of violence". For them, he explains, "it's part of a game, they have seen it too many times on a screen"
This generates a change of pattern that indicates Bárbara Tardón, a researcher and expert in gender and sexual violence, who has to do with the elements of current pornography, which reproduces all the myths that exist around sexuality – violence seen as erotic, reification of the body and of the woman herself, the power … -, as with "the ideology of the moment, the social context and the historical moment". In the violation that took place in the sanfermines of 2016, the five men pronounced phrases like "it's my turn" while they laughed, they took pictures and recorded videos; in Manresa, the order of the supposed inciter to one of his friends was: "It's your turn, 15 minutes each..
Tardón's analysis concludes that the aggressors "do not identify themselves as responsible, they normalize the aggression and blame the victim as an inciter. For them it is spoiled and try to generate a doubt about the woman they are attacking. " José Ángel Prenda, one of the members of La Manada, told the prosecutor during the trial that he remembered a phrase of the victim: "I can with two, three, four, five … With those who throw me out". Last week, at the Provincial Court of Barcelona, the defendants for the rape of Manresa told that the girl boasted of wanting to "throw herself at everyone"
To this is added the connivance of the group, says the expert in sexual violence: "It shields their impunity and they feel safe that what they're doing is not wrong. " And he adds that this also has to do with the culture of rape: "An ideology that is transmitted and feeds patriarchy by which women must be available for when men want and how they want." Something that is exacerbated in leisure environments and with alcohol in between. In Manresa, a large bottle in an abandoned warehouse spiced with drugs. In Pamplona, a party that lasted for hours on the basis of alcohol and other narcotics. But Tardón warns that this "are triggers, not causes". "To be clear. The only responsible for the aggression is the aggressor. And everything contributes, the own spaces and the representation of the bodies, always sexualized ".
And Lorena Añón, researcher and professor of Gender at the University of Santiago de Compostela, indicates "the after": the criticism of part of society and some means to the victims themselves. Remember that "the survivors are always the focus." Of the victim of La Manada de Pamplona it was said that he had drunk, he questioned that she stay to continue the party after her friend, with whom she had gone, went to sleep in the car, she was even reproached that months after the attack she tried to continue with her life. He had private detectives who followed her for many days. About the victim of Manresa, who was 14 years old, the same questions have fallen: who sent her to be there, why she had drunk, why she was not at home.
Añón assures that this "has an important importance in the imaginary of citizenship". "Talking about drugged or drunk women in trials is a constant. And it is the result of a patriarchal culture in which stereotypes dictate what a woman should do and how she should be. And how it has to be a man and what he should do. " In this context, according to Añón, the objectification of women is "normal". "Are not standardized practices in this country like closing a business with being a whore?", Says Añón, who apologizes for the expression but says so "because it is the expression they use when doing it". "It is, it is normalized, and that is something that continually attempts against the dignity of women and Human Rights."
Alcoholic beverages, drugs. Party. Several men against a single woman. The laxity of perpetrating a violation between several with a "it's my turn", with a "it's your turn". A justice that, in the first instance at least, he did not see do not see violence or intimidation. To imply that the victim provoked him, to assure that she wanted. An absolute lack of responsibility for the crime. "Yes, that is the summary, which fits in these two violations and will continue to do so if we do nothing, if we do not put this at the center of the social, political and informative agenda", concludes Bárbara Tardón. "And this is not only sexual violence, it is the origin, the machismo, the patriarchy ".
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